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The European Parliament’s decision not to immediately pass the new EU Copyright Directive in July was seen by many as a major setback. It was defeated by 318 to 278, a margin of 40 votes. This means the proposed legislation now moves forward to a full plenary debate and vote next Wednesday 12 September.

As the music industry faces this pivotal moment, it is worth reflecting how we got here and what we are now facing.

The creative industries as a whole have long argued that embryonic digital legislation passed in the mid 1990s is outdated and simply not fit for purpose. The legislative process is slow at the best of times. Meanwhile, the tech industry “moved fast and broke things,” incurring the wrath of creators whose livelihoods have been upended as a result.

The publication of the draft EU Copyright Directive in late 2016 was an achievement in itself. Not only did the draft legislation address copyright protection and safe harbour loopholes, it also contained provisions concerning fairness and transparency towards creators. Following further debate and lobbying, is even more of an achievement that the key elements of the draft directive remain mostly intact.

The Directive has not been without it’s critics, as is the case with any proposed legislation. Academics, libraries and dignitaries such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee have all put forth concerns. We in the music industry can acknowledge some concerns as understandable even if we believe they are unfounded.

What is not understandable are the thoroughly vile and dishonest tactics deployed during the course of this year, whose objective is to stop the legislation in its tracks at any cost. The scale of this activity reads like set pieces straight out of the Cambridge Analytica playbook.

Some in the music industry have questioned how we fight back given the vast funding involved and the sheer scale of this enterprise. But fight back we must and the actions of those we face only serve to give us greater strength.

As any Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster will tell you: use your opponents’ force against them. In this case, we should call out the deceitful actions from within the tech sector and elsewhere and those actions speak louder than any words.

  • The Financial Times reported some MEPs received death threats

  • MEPs were each bombarded with over 60,000 emails from bots

  • These emails contained identical content according to The Trichordist

  • The same blog named the domain name from which a large number of these emails originated and its link to a US Inc. entity.

  • The same tactics have been found on Twitter: multiple bot accounts promoting #SaveOurInternet and similar hashtags

  • This contrasts to real world protests that only drew a few hundred protestors combined across Europe. The bots did not show up.

 

These actions must also be viewed against the current backdrop where tech firms have been scrutinised for avoiding responsibility concerning:

  • Blatantly dishonest content

  • Content that incites hatred and violence

  • Little accountability in how such content is disseminated

  • Minimal transparency in how user data is abused in facilitating all this

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are amongst those tech executives rebuked by lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, for failing to take responsibility and failing to act in managing their own platforms. This is reflective of a broader failure that lies at the heart of a misguided and libertarian ideal, that somehow tech firms are exempt from laws and rules that govern the rest of the world.

The music industry and broader creative and media industries are made up of real people, filled with passion and blood pumping through their veins. They compose their own emails, speak to politicians and show up in person.

At the UK Music organized #LoveMusic busking event in London earlier today, artists, executives and even politicians turned out in support. Artists such as Brett Anderson, Ed Harcourt, Dave Rowntree, Madeleina Kay, Newton Faulkner and BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt. In addition a number of cross party British MPs who support the directive including Tom Watson, Nigel Evans and Kevin Brennan were amongst those in attendance.

One has to ask, if those opposing the EU Copyright Directive have such a compelling argument, why do they resort to such deceitful means? If we judge their actions, the arguments of those opposed to the directive hold no legitimacy and the European Parliament should vote in favour of the directive.

Andy Edwards, music manager and consultant
@andyedwardsbiz

29 Jul 2021 | Press release

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29 Jul 2021 | Press release

Warner Chappell Music opens new office in Vietnam and welcomes Vince Kobler as General Manger

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29 Jul 2021 | Press release

Radio 2 Live - STEPS in Manchester

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29 Jul 2021 | Press release

Swedish House Mafia, MK, Paul Woolford, Carl Cox and more will join Radio 1’s Dance Weekend for 70 hours of music all day and all night

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29 Jul 2021 | Press release

Blondie and crypto art pioneer duo Hackatao announce their collaboration and the release of the first in a series of animated digital artwork, “Hack the Borders”

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29 Jul 2021 | Press release

HSBC UK pledges £2m to support 30 new Stormzy scholars at the University of Cambridge over the next 3 years

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29 Jul 2021 | Press release

From 2–29 August 2021, Apple is hosting free virtual sessions in music and radio production

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29 Jul 2021 | Press release

Indian music superstar Badshah signs exclusive global agreement with Universal Music Group

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29 Jul 2021 | Press release

Kobalt promotions

Kobalt Promotes Stephanie Cox As Nashville GM Kobalt today announced the promotion of Stephanie Cox as general manager of the company’s Nashville office. Cox will oversee and manage Kobalt’s Nashville creative team and the office’s daily operations. Previously, Cox was SVP, Creative...more

29 Jul 2021 | Press release

Capitol Music Group and Virgin Launch New Label Partnership With Range Media Partners

Range Media Partners, one of the world’s leading music, film and television management companies, has entered into a worldwide distribution agreement with Capitol Music Group (CMG) and Virgin Music & Artist Label Services (Virgin). The deal spans all physical and...more

28 Jul 2021 | Press release

Report - Women on music industry boards increases, but still under-represented

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28 Jul 2021 | Press release

Artist and Inventor Collective The Rattle Receives $1.5m Investment for its Venture Label

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28 Jul 2021 | Press release

Amnesia Ibiza Announce 7 Day Takeover in Croatia ft. Adam Bayer, Patrick Topping, Richy Ahmed + more

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28 Jul 2021 | Press release

Grammy-Winning Songwriter Lori Mckenna Signs Multi-Faceted Deal With Concord Music Publishing, Creative Nation And Pulse Music Group

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28 Jul 2021 | Press release

LyricFind and Musixmatch named as first Friends And Supporters Of IMPF

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28 Jul 2021 | Press release

Reading & Leeds announce further acts added to 2021 line-up including Biffy Clyro, Inhaler, Russ Millions and Holly Humberstone

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28 Jul 2021 | Press release

FENDER launch ARTIST PLAYBOOK guide to the music industry

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28 Jul 2021 | Press release

LIVE statement on EU/USA vaccination quarantine rule change

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28 Jul 2021 | Press release

Liverpool indie/alt-pop band The Peach Fuzz have signed to Modern Sky UK

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28 Jul 2021 | Press release

Bryan Adams signs global recordings deal with BMG

Multi-Platinum superstar, recording artist, and songwriter Bryan Adams has signed a global recordings agreement with BMG to release his upcoming studio album. It is his first new label deal in more than 40 years.  One of the most decorated Canadian singer-songwriters, Adams' award-winning music...more

27 Jul 2021 | Press release

Ex-Island co MD, Liv Nunn, set to launch new agency

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27 Jul 2021 | Press release

Notting Hill Carnival 2021

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27 Jul 2021 | Press release

Music Industry Leaders Unveil Partner Organisations In Bid To Step Up Diversity & Inclusion Work

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27 Jul 2021 | Press release

Defected partners with Toshiba for live stream series

Toshiba TV today launches the Twitch app to its platform in partnership with Defected Records – giving viewers access to stream six magazine shows from the house music institution’s festival in Croatia, Defected Croatia. Across the week of the festival,...more

27 Jul 2021 | Press release

ADA Worldwide continues its global expansion with the launch of ADA Russia and ADA Italy, as well as several key hires across Central Europe, India, and Latin America

ADA Worldwide, WMG’s independent label and artist services arm, continues its global expansion with the launch of ADA Russia and ADA Italy, as well as several key hires across Central Europe, India, and Latin America. This is the latest milestone...more

27 Jul 2021 | Press release

Aitch teams up with TikTok to launch brand new #DuetRoulette Challenge

Every day on TikTok we see new creators using music to bring joy and express themselves. We take huge pride in cultivating a space for creativity and collaboration, where emerging and talented artists can be discovered. TikTok is home to...more

27 Jul 2021 | Press release

World Airplay Radio Monitor teams up with A&R Worldwide

  Danish-based company World Airplay Radio Monitor (WARM) is expanding its global ability to track songs on six continents with its new international collaboration with A&R Worldwide. Under the new agreement A&R Worldwide will provide WARM with access to emerging new...more

26 Jul 2021 | Press release

Amazon Music & Metropolis unveil new state-of-the-art Atmos studio

Metropolis Studios, Europe’s leading independent recording studio, has opened a brand-new, state-of-the-art 3D audio recording facility at the heart of its sprawling West London complex. Coinciding with the launch, Amazon Music has agreed a content deal with the studio, which...more

26 Jul 2021 | Press release

Warner Chappell Music and MNEK renew their partnership

Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer and recording artist MNEK has renewed his global partnership with Warner Chappell Music, the publishing arm of Warner Music Group (WMG).  The news comes as MNEK is busier than ever with a wide range of collabs.  He co-wrote...more

26 Jul 2021 | Press release

BMG Production Music announces ‘Luminary Scores’ label with renowned TV and Film composer Alan Lazar

BMG Production Music (BMGPM)—the world’s fastest-growing production music company, servicing the film, broadcast, games and advertising industries—has announced its label collaboration, Luminary Scores, with renowned composer Alan Lazar. Hosted across some 60 albums over the next year, the series features...more

29 Jul 2021

  • What's behind the growth of independent record labels? (see Analysis)

  • Universal, Spotify release latest growth figures (see Business, Digital)

  • Is Spotify's Discovery Mode a success? (see Digital)

28 Jul 2021

  • Hypercompetition. How platforms destroy markets (see Opinion)

  • Ivors Acadamy names Rising Star nominees, YouTube Music names Foundry 2021 artists (see News, Digital)

27 Jul 2021

  • Liv Nunn launches No Boundaries Agency (see News)

  • Spotify and music listening ten years from now (see Opinion)

26 Jul 2021

  • Tencent Music Entertainment ordered to end exclusive music licensing deals with major labels (see Business)

  • Latitude 2021 round-up (see Features, Reviews)

23 Jul 2021

  • 2021 Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ announced (see News, Features)

  • Reservoir acquires minority stake in Outdustry (see Business)

22 Jul 2021

  • TikTok study suggests 75% of visitors discover artists there (see Analysis)

  • The reality of the scam that is the “passion economy” (see Features)

  • What the DCMS Committee report means for songwriters and music publishers (see Features)

21 Jul 2021

  • Sony Music Publishing to waive unrecouped debts for some songwriters (see News)

20 Jul 2021

  • Venues to require vaccine passports from September (see News)

  • Bill Ackman’s deal to acquire a stake in Universal Music Group lives on (see Business)

  • Billy Bragg "streaming has sidelined songwriters" (see Opinion)

  • Chartmetric report on music industry trends (see Analysis)

19 Jul 2021

  • BMG welcome Economics of Music Streaming report (see News)

  • The vinyl revival faces multiple obstacles (see Features)

16 Jul 2021

  • Facebook Instagram to lure creators with $1bn fund (see Digital)